- Name: Bob Johnson
- School or league: Watertown High
- Team: Boys Ice Hockey
- Award: Season opening win
Last Saturday at the John A. Ryan Arena the 2012-2013 edition of the Watertown High School boys ice hockey team got off to a good start with a solid 5-0 shutout non-league victory over Newton South. Balanced scoring? Check. Two Freshmen score their first career goals, a sophomore and a senior add the others. Solid defense? Check. Two seniors, a junior and a sophomore limit the Lions to just 9 shots. Excellent goal tending? Check. Sophomore Anthony Busconi turns his first ever varsity start into a shutout.
Blessed with depth for the first time in a long while, the Raiders came out flying in the first period with three solid lines and great puck movement. After a few missed opportunities, Freshman Tyler Gardner found the back of net with a nifty backhander after a nice corner feed from senior Anthony Forman. Many coaches will say that there are two backbreaking types of goals that irritate them the most: one at the end of a period, and one at the end of a power play. Senior Matthew Johnson accomplished both to put the Raiders up 2-0 when he buried one off a scramble in front with just 10 seconds remaining in the period, and just 4 seconds after the Lions had killed off a penalty.
The offensive attack of South started to gain some momentum in the second stanza, but Busconi had plenty of support in front of him. Senior defense men Danny Loprete and Alex McAdam, along with junior Dante Flori and sophomore Nick Giordano helped clear away any of the second chance opportunities the Lions generated. Although scoreless in the frame, the line of Connor Demore, Joe Kelland and Chris Fidler created several excellent scoring opportunities.
In years past, Raider hockey teams may have had a difficult time putting an opponent away in the third period. Although it's early, this team seems to possess the necessary mental trait to clamp down on opponents late in the game. The relentless cycle fore check began to wear down the Newton defenders and open up many scoring lanes. Johnson added his second, Chris Fidler buried a backhander from in close, and Freshman Tyler Poulin netted his 1st varsity goal, and just like that, the lead had grown to 5-0. From there the defense took over, and the shutout was in the books. Next up for Watertown is their annual tilt with Belmont. The game is at the John A. Ryan Arena on Wednesday at 6 p.m. A big crowd is expected.